The Great Mac Dev Survey Results

Mac Dev Survey 2016

The Results

7,291 web and software developers working on the Mac answered our call and took part in our 2016 survey.

Besides working through 27 individual questions, they also answered a more far-reaching question: Who are we as a community?

Here are the final results.

Developer Profile

Age & Work Experience

The average developer is in their mid-thirties and incredibly intelligent (although we cannot prove the latter with our data...). At the same time, they have quite some experience under their belts: 3 out of 4 developers have 5+ years of experience. And one in two, as a matter of fact, is already in the game for more than 10 years!

Age

< 20
2%
20-29
33%
30-39
41%
40-49
18%
> 50
6%

Work Experience

< 2
6%
2-5
30%
6-9
18%
10+
46%

Gender

  • 95 %
  • 4 %
  • 1 % prefer not to disclose

With 95% of participants being men, our big goal for next year's survey is already clear: we hope to get more female responses from the community. Note that 1% preferred not to disclose.

Geography

United States
35%
Germany
12%
United Kingdom
9%
Canada
5%
Australia
3%
Netherlands
3%
France
3%
Spain
2%
Italy
2%
Poland
2%
show more show less

The most active countries in our survey were the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Canada. In total, we had participants from 108 countries around the world!

Company Size

Out of four developers, one works solo and one in a large team of 200+ people. This means, on the other hand, that most developers work in small and medium sized companies.

1 / solo
24%
5-20
18%
500+
16%
2-5
14%
50-200
12%

Company Office vs. Remote / Home Office

More than half of developers already work from home - at least partly. And of those that work from their company's office, 57% would like to work from home.
It's safe to say that remote work is on the rise!

Actual Programming Time per Day

With all the administrative tasks that any modern job involves, it sometimes seems that not much time is left for our actual work. But there's good news from our survey: the overwhelming majority of developers spends more than half of their days actually programming!

Trivia

Superheroes

This question has bothered us for a long time: which superhero rules... really? In a tough race, Batman finally pulled Iron Man's plugs. And, in terms of heroines, Jessica Jones showed Wonder Women what a wonder she is.

Heroes

Batman
Batman
26%
Ironman
Ironman
22%
Wolverine
Wolverine
11%
Spiderman
Spiderman
8%
Superman
Superman
8%

Heroines

Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones
42%
Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman
16%
Black Widow
Black Widow
12%
Catwoman
Catwoman
10%
Batgirl
Batgirl
6%

Coffee Breaks

It would not have taken a survey to understand where the term "coffee break" comes from. But we now know for sure: drinking coffee is still the most popular activity when a programmer takes a break. And, while we don't know if he takes it with milk, we know that he loves to surf the web at the same time.

Grab a coffee / tea
Grab a coffee / tea
67%
Surf the web
Surf the web
65%
Check email
Check email
56%
Catch up on social media
Catch up on social media
54%
Go for a walk or stretch
Go for a walk or stretch
53%
Chat with colleagues
Chat with colleagues
50%

Gadgets

It's fair to say that almost every developer on the Mac also owns an iPhone. And, with over 80% also having an iPad or other tablet, there's no shortage of screens in our households.

iPhone
iPhone
86%
iPad / other tablet
iPad / other tablet
80%
Kindle / other e-reader
Kindle / other e-reader
36%
Apple Watch
Apple Watch
34%
Android Phone
Android Phone
29%
Windows Phone
Windows Phone
4%

Getting Up

It's always a ceremonial occasion when a cliché is proven wrong: programmers are not late risers! Well... at least, some of us aren't: about half of our participants get up before 7 a.m.! And a brave 2% even tumble up before 5 a.m. Props, really!

6-7 AM
6-7 AM
32%
7-8 AM
7-8 AM
29%
5-6 AM
5-6 AM
15%
8-9 AM
8-9 AM
14%
> 9 AM
> 9 AM
7%
< 5 AM
< 5 AM
2%
PM, man!
PM, man!
1%

Technology & Languages

Development Tasks

Most developers work in one of three areas: Full-Stack Web, Mobile, or Web Frontend. Only one in ten developers specializes in either pure Backend or Desktop technologies.

Web Full-Stack
26%
Mobile
23%
Web Frontend
21%
Web Backend
11%
Desktop
7%
Project Lead / Manager
5%
Dev Ops / Sys Admin
4%
Other
2%
QA / Support
1%

Programming Languages - In Use

The most used programming languages amongst developers on the Mac are clearly Javascript, CSS, and PHP. However, with Objective-C and Swift close behind, the popularity of Apple's iOS also showed.

JavaScript
59%
CSS
39%
PHP
35%
Objective‑C
27%
Swift
26%
Python
17%
Java
17%
Ruby
16%
C++
8%
C
8%
C#
7%
Other
5%
CoffeeScript
3%
Go
3%
Pearl
2%
TeX
2%
Scala
1%
R
1%
Groovy
1%
Matlab
1%
Lua
1%
Clojure
1%
Haskell
1%
show more show less

Programming Languages - On the Learning List

If you're looking for a gift for a programmer friend, a book on Swift should be a safe bet. It is - by far - the number one language that devs want to learn. In case it's sold out: Go, Ruby, and Python are also highly regarded.

Swift
47%
Go
19%
Ruby
18%
Python
17%
JavaScript
12%
Haskell
9%
Objective‑C
8%
Other
7%
Scala
6%
C++
6%
Clojure
5%
Java
5%
R
4%
CoffeeScript
4%
PHP
4%
C#
4%
C
2%
Lua
2%
CSS
2%
Groovy
1%
Perl
1%
TeX
1%
Emacs Lisp
1%
Matlab
1%
show more show less

Open Source Contribution

Here's wonderful news: two thirds of devs contribute to Open Source projects! Any skeptics should now agree that Open Source is not a niche - it's a natural force!

Yes, occassionally
55%
No, never
36%
Yes, frequently
7%
Yes, it's my main type of work
2%

Development Tools

Version Control

Subversion is certainly not dead. But on the Mac, it is almost irrelevant: with 95% of people using Git, it's a clear standard in today's development toolboxes.

Git
95%
Subversion
13%
None
4%
Mercurial
3%
Perforce
1%
CVS
1%
Other
1%

Code Hosting

GitHub once started the "social coding" trend - and is still the most popular code hosting platform amongst developers. A suprisingly high number of people, however, still seem to use their own solutions: one in four developers reported they're using a self-managed system to host their code - or none at all.

GitHub
70%
Bitbucket
41%
None or self-managed
24%
GitLab Community Edition
10%
GitHub Enterprise
10%
GitLab.com
8%
Bitbucket Server
7%
Beanstalk
4%
GitLab Enterprise Edition
3%
Other
5%

Unit Testing

Most programmers would probably agree that unit tests improve code quality. Nevertheless, our survey reveals a big gap between theory and reality: be it lack of time or budget, but only a minority of developers writes unit tests regularly. Three out of four devs, on the other hand, don't write unit tests or only do so rarely.

Yes, it's a core part of my development workflow
25%
Yes, rarely
39%
No
36%

Text Editors

Sublime Text has been the dominant text editor for years. And it still is: almost half of devs still use Sublime when not coding in a special IDE. Another third of devs have a much younger competitor in their Dock: Atom.io is a very popular alternative.

Sublime Text
49%
Atom.io
29%
Vim
21%
Coda
12%
TextMate
11%
TextWrangler
8%
BBEdit
7%
Brackets
5%
Emacs
4%
Other
9%

Diff & Merge Tools

We've been truly surprised that almost 40% of developers don't use a dedicated diff or merge tool. Those that do seem to use either Kaleidoscope or Apple's FileMerge.

None / diffing capabilities of text editors and other apps suffice
39%
Kaleidoscope
27%
FileMerge
16%
DiffMerge
5%
Beyond Compare
4%
P4Merge
2%
Other
7%

Continuous Integration

Naturally, many of our participants don't employ a Continuous Integration workflow. Those that do use a CI tool, however, seem to sing from the same hymn sheet: Jenkins is the tool of choice for almost half of Continuous Integration followers.

We don't have a CI workflow
31%
Jenkins
24%
Not applicable for our work
18%
Travis CI
6%
Xcode Server
4%
Bamboo
3%
GitLab CI
3%
CircleCI
3%
TeamCity
3%
Codeship
2%
Other
4%

Deployment Tools

When it comes to deploying web projects, only few people are using a dedicated tool: almost half of our participants said they were doing deployments manually. If, on the other hand, developers are using a tool, chances are that this is part of their Continuous Integration workflow.

None or Manual
45%
via Continuous Integration
22%
Capistrano scripts
6%
rsync scripts
5%
Deploybot.com / Beanstalk
4%
Bamboo by Atlassian
2%
deployhq.com
1%
Other
13%

Productivity Tools

Task Management

A whopping third of developers uses Trello for task management. This makes it the most popular tool by far, followed by JIRA, Omnifocus, and Wunderlist.
Although, for this question, we had provided 13 tools to choose from, a lot of respondents had to select the "Other" option, telling us which other tools they were using - and how extremely diverse the area of task management is!

Trello
25%
JIRA
10%
Omnifocus
8%
Wunderlist
8%
Basecamp
7%
Things
6%
Asana
6%
Todoist
4%
Google Keep
3%
Clear
2%
Other
22%

Bug & Issue Tracking

Developers seem to manage bugs & issues in one of three ways: using JIRA, GitHub Issues, or no special tool at all! With almost one in four developers not using a dedicated tool, a lot of text files and emails must be floating around.

JIRA
36%
GitHub Issues
31%
None / text files or emails
22%
Other
14%
GitLab Issues
6%
Redmine
5%
Basecamp
4%
Pivotal Tracker
4%
Bugzilla
2%

Customer Support

The overwhelming majority of development teams does not use any dedicated tools to handle customer support. This is quite unexpected, given the high expectations that today's customers have and the complexity that customer support can easily grow.
On the other hand, those people that do use a customer support tool are in agreement that Zendesk is the go-to service.

None / eMail
65%
Zendesk
11%
Freshdesk
2%
Asana
2%
UserVoice
2%
Helpscout
2%
JIRA
2%
Desk.com
1%
intercom.io
1%
Other
12%

File Sharing

It's probably no surprise that most teams are using either Dropbox or Google Drive to share files with their teammates and customers. More surprising is that almost one in four respondents told us that their files don't touch third-party file sharing servers: they're either using their own servers (using a solution like OwnCloud or a home-grown one) or don't use an explicit file sharing service at all.

Dropbox
38%
Google Drive
29%
None
11%
Microsoft OneDrive
5%
OwnCloud
4%
Basecamp
3%
Box.net
2%
Amazon Cloud Drive
1%
Other
6%

Intranet & Documentation Platform

Many teams are sharing knowledge and documents in either Google Drive, Dropbox, or Confluence. Apart from this handful of popular choices, however, a multitude of solutions exists: from shared Evernote books to self-managed wikis everything seems to be in use.

Documents in Google Drive
32%
Documents in Dropbox
20%
Confluence
10%
Evernote
5%
Basecamp
3%
Google Sites
2%
Yammer
1%
Other
26%


Conclusion

With over 7,000 participants, the survey paints a detailed picture of our community.

On the one hand, a wide array of languages and tools is in use on the Mac. On the other hand, we are united in our love for coffee and gadgets!

Don't forget to sign up for next year's survey!